"Lord of all Hopefulness"
Reading & Collect
This week's readings can be found here for this Sunday, the 2nd Sunday before Lent, Matthew 6.25-end
Our weekly reflection will be part of our Online Service on our Facebook Page on Sunday
A Special Prayer for the Crisis in Ukraine
Marilyn Nelson (b. 1946)
The Lutherans sit stolidly in rows; only their children feel the holy ghost that makes them jerk and bobble and almost destroys the pious atmosphere for those whose reverence bows their backs as if in work. The congregation sits, or stands to sing, or chants the dusty creeds automaton. Their voices drone like engines, on and on, and they remain untouched by everything; confession, praise, or likewise, giving thanks. The organ that they saved years to afford repeats the Sunday rhythms song by song, slow lips recite the credo, smother yawns, and ask forgiveness for being so bored.
I, too, am wavering on the edge of sleep, and ask myself again why I have come to probe the ruins of this dying cult. I come bearing the cancer of my doubt as superstitious suffering women come to touch the magic hem of a saint's robe.
Yet this has served two centuries of men as more than superstitious cant; they died believing simply. Women, satisfied that this was truth, were racked and burned with them for empty words we moderns merely chant.
We sing a spiritual as the last song, and we are moved by a peculiar grace that settles a new aura on the place. This simple melody, though sung all wrong, captures exactly what I think is faith. Were you there when they crucified my Lord? That slaves should suffer in his agony! That Christian, slave-owning hypocrisy nevertheless was by these slaves ignored as they pitied the poor body of Christ! Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, that they believe most, who so much have lost. To be a Christian one must bear a cross. I think belief is given to the simple as recompense for what they do not know.
I sit alone, tormented in my heart by fighting angels, one group black, one white. The victory is uncertain, but tonight I'll lie awake again, and try to start finding the black way back to what we've lost.
To Pray for
Peace among all nations - and an end to the ongoing war between the Ukraine and Russia
To everyone in Syria and Turkey following the devastating earthquake (please click this link Emergency Collection for Syria and Turkey (carlfordchurches.org) for details of an emergency collection).
The family and friends of Nicola Bulley
All charity, relief and emergency workers